Gadamer and political authority

Duke, George 2014, Gadamer and political authority, European journal of political theory, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 25-40, doi: 10.1177/1474885112473722.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Title Gadamer and political authority
Author(s) Duke, GeorgeORCID iD for Duke, George
Journal name European journal of political theory
Volume number 13
Issue number 1
Start page 25
End page 40
Total pages 16
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1474-8851
Keyword(s) authority
Summary The rehabilitation of the concept of authority is one of the more contentious positions advocated by Gadamer in Truth and Method (1960). Habermas in particular challenged the universality of Gadamer’s hermeneutic project by presenting this rehabilitation as a conservative legitimation of prevailing prejudices which truncates the role of critical reflection. Given that Gadamer’s primary focus is upon the ramifications of the Enlightenment dichotomy between reason and authority for historical hermeneutics, however, and that his examples are drawn primarily from educational domains, the extent to which his account of authority sustains a political interpretation is far from self-evident. In this article I argue that Gadamer’s account can nonetheless make at least two important contributions to contemporary philosophical debates on political authority. Following a brief exposition of Gadamer’s account of authority in Truth and Method, I examine his suggestion that the basis of legitimate political authority is to be found in the normative status of the right to be authoritative, rather than in the factual status of being in a position of authority. This account, I suggest, places in question the abstract dichotomy between theoretical and practical authority which informs much contemporary debate on political authority. I then demonstrate how Gadamer’s emphasis upon the historicity of tradition offers important insights for discussions of the relation between political authority and moral autonomy.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1474885112473722
Field of Research 220319 Social Philosophy
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Connect to link resolver
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 301 Abstract Views, 4 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Sat, 30 Mar 2013, 16:53:34 EST by George Duke

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact